A solitary stage

Full story: Baltimore Sun 43
Cellist Troy Stuart furrows his brow, saying, "Something's not right." Violinist Tai Murray agrees and asks the pianist to come in "more joyfully." She kicks up her fur boot-covered feet in a little dance to ... Read more
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Geo

Gwynn Oak, MD

#47 Dec 8, 2008
The Problem as I see it, and I've been a professional musician for close to 40 years, is that black culture rejects white.

If our new president really wants change, he needs to deal with this attitude and the problem of black racism.
Unbelievable

Abingdon, MD

#48 Dec 8, 2008
Seabiscuit wrote:
There are so few opportunities for black musicians these days.
What a weird statement.
Tell me you typed that with tongue in cheek?
LauraA

Baltimore, MD

#49 Dec 8, 2008
I would place a large bet that many of the commenters deriding the African-American community haven't attended a live, classical music event in years. But I digress.

As a performer in the classical voice arena, I have encountered a few African-American singers and conductors. Lawrence Brownlee, Diane Bolden-Taylor, Simon Estes (now mostly retired), and a few other up-and-comers come to mind. All of whom represent not just the opera community well, but the African-American community, too. I know of a fantastic female violist who is not based on the East Coast, but is another phenomenal musician.

Yes, it is true that there are vastly fewer African-Americans and Latinos/Latinas in the U.S. classical world. However, if you look at the classical music scene in South America, it is very active. The fact of the matter is that in the U.S., classical music is a pay-to-play business. If a truly talented student comes out of familial and neighborhood background that is not particularly wealthy, it is virtually impossible for that student to gain access to the types of lessons, coaching, and experience than a student whose parents schlepped them to childrens' opera chorus rehearsals. It's not ethnic background, lack of talent, or merely lack of exposure to classical music, but a question of economics.

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